On our last night in town with Willie and Andrea's family we taught their kids how to play a Wilcox staple. I'm still surprised they hadn't ever played it with their family. It seems when I first joined the family we played it at every large gathering!
The game goes like this. We all sit around in a circle. The tail of the circle is always a skunk (the sign is made by pinching your nose). The head of the circle is always an elephant (the sign is made by pinching your nose with one hand while the other hand with pointing finger activated goes through the space between your body and the arm pinching your nose). See Zach for further clarification!
All of the other people in the circle get to chose their own animal and sign to go along with it. Simple is best. We have a few standards of course but some new ones generally make it into the playing field. This time Maddie added a galloping horse, Zach contributed a flapping eagle (which had nothing to do with having just watched Nacho Libre I'm sure) and Emily chose to be a kitty cat (grooming itself instead of the traditional show of whiskers).
After the signs are all chosen we begin the game. The goal is to become the elephant. The skunk starts out by making it's sign and then making the sign of another person in the circle. They must be paying attention! When you see your sign made you repeat it and then make the sign of someone else. It goes on and on like that until someone messes up one of the signs, misses their turn because they weren't paying attention or breaks the rhythm. When someone messes up they become the new skunk. They leave their seat in the circle and take over the skunk seat. Then everyone including the old skunk move up a seat until the vacated seat is filled. The tricky part is that the animal signs don't travel with the people that chose them they stay with the chair. So now everyone that just moved has a new sign.
The brilliance of this game is that it is silent:-)
We want to include even our little ones. So they don't get out and have lots of help! Once they make it to elephant we give them three turns on the throne before demoting them to skunkdom!
The highlights of the night were the typical pokes in the eye from messing up the elephant sign and then Katie's totally candid decision to run and get the peanuts to snack on during her reign as elephant. Our nephew Zach shouted out, "the elephant's eating peanuts!" Very astute of him! We all got a really good laugh and Katie loved being the center of attention of course!
Everyone try it out at your next family home evening or game night with friends and let me know how it went!